Ibe Kachikwu has also vowed to audit the NNPC's books as well as its contracts with foreign companies.

Nigeria to curb oil theft with drones

LAGOS, September 2, 2015 – Nigeria’s state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, announced on Wednesday plans to use an “armada of approaches” to end oil theft, including drones to monitor ship movements.

In a country where oil generates 70 percent of government revenue and makes up 90 percent of export earnings, the theft of 10,000 barrels of oil a day – around 5 percent of domestic daily production – hits the budget hard.

Managing director Ibe Kachikwu hopes that the drones will be able to monitor the country’s waterways, searching for the small barges that upload stolen oil to international tankers.


Other security options include total staff swaps. “We are looking at the current logistical nightmares of changing staffing at the loading bay of crude oil export terminals virtually every 90 days,” Kachikwu said in a statement.

Recently-elected President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to fight theft  in the industry. The government estimates that its pipelines have been attacked more than 4,000 times in the last year alone, and that 350 people have been killed by oil thieves.

Kachikwu was made head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation last month, and in line with President Buhari’s goals, promised to increase security.

“In eight months we must be able to deliver an environment that is free from the vices of oil theft,” Kachikwu said.

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